You can help your cat cope with symptoms of depression, but first you've got to know what they are. If your cat is sleeping more than 16 hours per day, this may be a sign of depression. Thomas: The reason we spent so much time talking about my story is to tell you that yes, a friendly voice and petting can really help a sick cat. Cat depression can make your pet lose interest in his food, make him lethargic, and make him avoid the company of others. The best thing you can do for your cat is to provide a routine, stress-free environment to help avoid the onset of depression. Enjoy your pet in open air exercises. How to Help a Depressed Cat. Want to help your feline get out of their funk? Make sure you know the signs your cat is depressed. If you can’t manage ongoing care, “at the very least, get the cat neutered,” suggests Case. If a stressor can be identified and eliminated, often the symptoms will improve or resolve. You wonder what he does all day, how much he misses you and if he’s sad and lonely. Want to help your feline get out of their funk? Think your cat is depressed? He would sleep in a box of paper (like a trash box) in front of the building and probably was cold because it's freezing outside now. CatChannel.com, the Web site for cat lovers, has a checklist cat owners can go through to determine whether or not their cats display symptoms that are common indicators of feline depression. Conversely, a cat who is depressed may also over groom, leaving bald patches, irritated skin, or even open wounds. Because most pets are social creatures, they tend to thrive in the company of humans or other animals, said veterinarian Dr. Patrick Mahaney of California Pet Acupuncture and Wellness. If your cat goes off their food for two or more days, call your vet … Try one of these four ways to cheer up your depressed cat! We encourage you to visit Marvin if at all possible. Hi Sooty, If you think a cat is depressed, then you need to look at their behavior and see if they exhibit the signs. Cats like predictability, so where possible keep things on the schedule such as mealtimes, playtime, and bedtime. Show you care with cash. If your cat usually enjoys spending time with you in the living room, but suddenly starts to make themselves scarce and unavailable, they may be suffering from depression. How to Tell if a Cat Is Depressed. Grief in Dogs and Cats It's not known for certain whether dogs or cats have the capacity to understand the finality and significance of the death of a pet, and any evidence that they do is purely anecdotal, says PetPlace . Cat lovers know this behavior is a sign of a calm and happy cat but it’s also something cats use to find one another, navigate their environments, and communicate their needs. The Importance of Routine. We encourage you to visit Marvin if at all possible. You should walk with her every day. If you suspect that your cat is depressed you should consider taking them to the vet. Place a blanket with the new cat’s scent on it near your cat’s bed. Other things you can do to help a depressed cat include: Stick to a routine. Signs of a depressed cat include overeating, lax grooming and sleeping at daybreak, when they should be up and hunting. To tell if your cat is depressed, pay attention to any changes in sleeping habits, vocalization, eating habits, and behavior. At first, the pet won’t appear to be eager. Most of us are aware of how fear and anxiety can impact on our own lives and physical health. Scared Cat Help Your Nervous Cat If you think you have a scared cat, or a depressed or nervous cat then you could be right, cats can suffer from stress and anxiety just like the rest of us! Cats are safer indoors—away from cars and dogs—but the soft life can be downright dull. This is their way of telling you, “hey, human, something is not okay” in their language. Actively engaging in playtime with your cat can help relieve you of any anxious feelings or help avoid those … 1. Ignoring loved ones. A depressed cat may begin hiding in a hard to find hiding place to avoid dealing with humans or other pets. If you want to discard a health condition you need to take your cat to a Vet and get it checked properly, including blood tests, x-rays and abdominal ultrasound for an accurate diagnosis. Watching a friend live with depression can be painful, but there are ways to help. Veterinarians can prescribe cat anxiety medication (trazodone, gabapentin, and midazolam) to your cat once they’re evaluated. Regardless of whether you claim a cat or a dog, taking them for a fun evening out in the park is a viable method for perking him up. Why? Cats are not idle characters (unless they’re sleeping), rather, they love to run around and play. However, their ‘look’ doesn't really come into it. Giving all pets their own space, feeding separately and keeping enough litter boxes in the house (one per cat, plus one more), can also help. Without the help of verbal communication, signs of depression in cats and dogs are quite difficult to detect. I don't know if he is a stray cat or feral cat because he was always in front of my building, wasn't afraid of humans like other cats in my street. I brought a male cat from outside. Physical signs that a cat may be depressed will be manifested in sterotypies such as biting or scratching. Depressed cats may over or under eat and vocalize more than usual when depressed. Scent swapping is a technique that can be used to help your senior cat get to know the newcomer before they even meet. Learn what to do, what to avoid, and how to recognize the warning signs of suicidal thoughts. Queendust/Shutterstock. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to help your cat get back on track. If your cat is stressed, they will likely announce their frustrations by becoming increasingly vocal. Perhaps the cat has recently lost a close companion and she’s depressed. Doing your best to keep your cat’s routine the same will help them in the days and weeks following a loss. Keep reading to learn how you can help your grieving pets in the event that your family is faced with such a loss. They can also help determine the best approach to helping your cat, which could include anti-anxiety medication. Okay I don't know if my cat is depressed or not but when he was younger he used to play all around the house and play with us and with his toys, now he doesn't even acknowledge us or toys in general, I'd swing his favorite toy by a string above his face and he'll look at it and ignore it, when he was younger he'd play with that stringed toy for an hour or so. Here are 6 signs your cat is stressed–and how to help! : Can You Hear Me Meow? Try to keep their meal times the same as before. It is best to be prepared so that when the upset comes, you can help the survivor adjust. There are a lot of reasons why your cat can be depressed, it is hard to tell which one is right, but never let your cat home alone whole day. Changes in feeding times or even simply moving furniture around can cause further stress. Instead, use positive reinforcement to help a depressed cat and make sure its litter box is clean and easily accessible. Make sure they are eating, drinking and toileting properly. Pilling cats, especially fearful felines, can make their anxiety worse and leave you a bloody mess. Cats also help in making you more active. However, pet owners can still prepare for the possibility by spotting the signs as early as possible, and learning how to help a depressed dog or cat. First, you should visit your veterinarian to rule out any underlying illnesses. Cats make this characteristic sound by pushing air through their vocal chords. Minimizing change gives the cat time to come to terms with the loss of a companion cat. Spay/neuter surgeries may cost as little as $17 for shelters to perform, so a single $20 donation can dramatically change the life of a feral cat. Some depressed cats will stop grooming altogether (or at least stop doing an effective job at it), which can result in an oily coat, dandruff, a messy booty, or knots in long hair. Part of the series: Cat Behavior & Care. Treating the Cat’s Stress Instead of Depression. Your cat needs her own peace, loud noises will scare her as well, and she will be depressed. To travel from the pits to his/her blissful, glad self, basically give your pet your help, care, and love. You can also place toys or bedding that the new cat has used throughout the house for your cat to check out. They could also recommend behaviorists, who can further help your cat deal with their depression properly. If your cat has been diagnosed with chronic renal failure, this is what you can expect to happen next: Medication: Medications and supplements that lower blood pressure, raise potassium levels, lower phosphorous levels, promote kidney function, treat anemia, treat gastrointestinal ulcers, and reduce vomiting may all be a part of therapy. A veterinarian or trainer experienced in cat behavior can help with recommendations to make a home environment less stressful to an anxious cat. There are a number of things you can do to help a grieving cat to overcome the loss. This can be done by providing multiple feeding and drinking stations, extra litter trays, lots of hiding places and plenty of toys If you have any concerns and need more advice, your veterinary practice staff or pet behaviourists are available to help. How can we help? 2. It's impossible to anticipate when a cat will recover from such a major loss; it could take anywhere from several weeks to months and months, according to veterinarian Arnold Plotnick of … Keep the cat 's routine the same. Activity. Signs of a depressed cat include overeating, lax grooming and sleeping at daybreak, when they should be up and hunting. If your cat continues to act depressed for weeks or stops eating for more than 3 days, consult your veterinarian. Updated March 6, 2019: If you’re anything like me, you feel guilty daily as you leave your pet home alone. Some cats get depressed and grieve when there is a death in the family, whether human or other pet. A grieving cat may go off its food. One unique benefit cats offer to depressed owners is the power of their purring. How can you help her? Try one of these four ways to cheer up your depressed cat! If your cat is part of a multi-cat household, it may help to reduce competition between the cats. A cat may seem depressed and not like his usual self for quite a while after the passing of a sibling. When a cat is depressed it could be a symptom of a physical or psychological issue. However, they can help get your cat in the right frame of mind to learn, by helping to normalize brain chemistry gone haywire. A little money can go a long way to help a cat. Cats get depressed when they or their owners are stressed or bereaved. so.. i adopted my cat a little over a month ago now, she took to me pretty quick and has slept on my bed every single night since the third day i had her, she’s been fairly cuddly and has been eating, drinking water, using the litter box, and playing (only the laser pointer though and only sometimes - nothing else really seems to interest her).